FBN vs. Imus?

Today’s TVNewser piece on Don Imus’ FBN ratings is interesting. It’s negative of course since Imus’ ratings haven’t been so hot. But it has the characteristics of a network leak. Yes, I know…I’ve called out “leak” before and been wrong. But what makes this article special and sets off my leak alarm is the ratings period sampled…

Since May, (5/5/11 – 11/25/11) when Connell McShane took over for Charles McCord, the show has seen an -18% drop in A25-54 viewers. And despite crowing about an occasional win against “Squawk Box”, Imus has not logged a win in the 6-9am block this year, in either Total Viewers or the demo.

Why sample the ratings since when McCord left? The likelihood that TVN would go to someone and ask for FBN’s Imus ratings since the time McCord left seems rather unlikely bordering on the implausible. Ergo, it is more likely that this ratings data was leaked.

Where things get interesting is when we turn to speculating over who did the leak. The obvious candidates are CNBC and FBN. The idea that CNBC would be interested in torpedoing Imus with a ratings shot is I suppose plausible, though why would they want to go to the effort? But FBN? That’s a different story.

After what happened between Neil Cavuto and Imus where Imus yells at his viewers for not watching and then Cavuto comes on and basically tells him on the air that his show sucks and the ratings reflect it, a negative leak from FBN could be viewed as the coup de grace.

If it was indeed FBN that leaked it, I imagine it’s now open warfare time between the network and its morning host.

It’s tough luck for McShane though as he winds up getting caught in the crossfire since the ratings leak sampled the time he took over for McCord.

8 Responses to “FBN vs. Imus?”

  1. Maybe Imus leaked it himself. Blaming the breakup of his old crew rather than himself. Imus’s choice has been to switch from Peck’s bad boy to a subdued but grouchy old man. Not a ratings winner.

  2. Connell McShane and Dagen McDowell are two great additions to the show. The problem, in my view, is still a lack of distribution compared to Imus’ MSNBC days.

  3. Uverse had a free preview of the U-450 package last Thurs-Sun and every time I flew past there.. I saw the ‘best of imus’ and Glen Beck as the guest.

    (FBN is available on the U-300 but I currently have the U-200. Although I did have it for quite a while on Directv’s choice xtra package from day one.)

  4. If Imus leaked it, seems like a ‘cut off your nose to spite your face’ type move.

    In other words, he’d rather embarrass FBN by blaming them for losing key demo viewers because McCord got the boot.

    Either way ya slice it though, his ratings are are pure crap.

  5. FOX Business has less people watching it in genral, and also it’s not avalible everywhere hense, Cavoto’s Demand it line. Fox business is on some other people’s line ups but they would to pay for a whole extra package for it. so it’s not Imus it’s FOX Business not avalible everywhere and not being treated as Basic channel like FNC and CNBC

  6. wheresthebeef09 Says:

    TVNewser released their monthly ranker – the first, I believe, with FBN’s ratings broken down by hour. We knew FBN was doing poorly, but some of their business programs are doing beyond awful. Apart from Lou Dobbs, the 6am hour of Squawk Box beats EVERY FBN program, and the 6am hour of Squawk Box’s demo beats at least four “business day” FBN programs in TOTAL viewers.

    Even though Imus skews tremendously old, at least he provides some sort of viewership to the channel – something which every other FBN program struggles to attract.

  7. If News Corp had the same arrangement that Turner got with CNN and HLN, FBN would probably be doing a lot better.

  8. […] as I would someone else like, say, Bret Baier. Besides, FBN managed to convince Don Imus that an FBN leak didn’t come from FBN, so who is to say that Rivera wasn’t similarly […]

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